Kirkland & Ellis, A&O, Clifford Chance advise on KKR restructuring deal

Kirkland & Ellis (K&E), Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Allen & Overy (A&O) are part of a 10-strong legal team that has advised on the restructuring of German auto-repair company ATU.

The mammoth deal has left private equity company KKR with losses of around €500m and a minimal stake in ATU following a pre-pack administration, which put it in the hands of lenders including Centerbridge Partners LP and Babson.

K&E restructuring partners Kon Asimacopoulos, Partha Kar and Leo Plank led the deal for ATU, with KKR now set to keep only 10 per cent of the equity after its restructuring. Centerbridge will own the majority.

K&E has acted for KKR in three deals over the past 12 months and the company requested the firm to act for ATU in the deal. It was joined by Hengeler partner Daniel Kress for ATU while Simpson Thacher partner Nicholas Shaw advised KKR. 

Cadwalader partners Yushan Ng and Holly Neavill advised Centerbridge along with Goerg partner Christian Baerenz.

Babson and Goldman Sachs’ bondholders turned to Sullivan & Cromwell partners Max Birke and Chris Howard and Clifford Chance partner Adrian Cohen respectively.

Goldman Sachs and Babson have agreed to cut the German company’s debt by more than €600m and to inject €100m in cash for new investments. The company was hit by difficulties at the start of the credit crunch due to falling usage of winter tyres by Germans.

ATU’s existing €450m senior secured notes and unpaid coupons have been exchanged for €157.5m preference shares and 4.85 per cent of the ordinary equity in the specially created English holding company.

Allen & Overy partner Ian Field was also involved, advising the Bank of New York as a trustee along with Global Loan Services and Morgan Stanley.

Morgan Stanley turned to Clifford Chance partner Adrian Cohen while Proskauer partner Hazel Miller stepped in for Global Loan Services.